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Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
Under Cabinet Rule 1.5.2, where any Cabinet Member has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (as defined in the Members’ Code of Conduct (para. 4)) in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee, they must withdraw from the meeting room during the whole of the consideration of that matter and must not participate in any vote on that matter unless a dispensation has been obtained from the Monitoring Officer.
There were none.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 19 October 2020 be approved as a correct record of the proceedings.
The Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, Councillor Jacqui Dyer, introduced the Lambeth Skills and Employment Strategy. It was explained that the Strategy, developed with partners from the Lambeth Skills and Employment Board, provided a framework of employment, skills and training priorities and actions that would contribute to the Borough Plan goal to enable communities to benefit from opportunities in Lambeth and across London.
It was noted that the Strategy, set out at Appendix 2 of the report, had been based on analysis of relevant economic data as well as qualitative feedback from residents, employers, and partners about the steps that were required to ensure residents had access to jobs and training. Councillor Dyer emphasised that a key aim of the Strategy was to address inequalities, especially in relation to the economic impact of Covid-19.
- The close collaboration and partnership working between the College and the Council to deliver the Skills and Employment Strategy to benefit local residents.
- The College’s technology and digital education was closely aligned with Labour Market Information (LMI) data and its curriculum matched current and future jobs to fulfil its promise as a gateway organisation.
- The delivery of English language skills for speakers of other languages would help support adults into new jobs, retraining and upskilling; in addition to responding to the economic effects of Covid-19.
- A Youth Hub was launching on 7 December 2020 to provide a gateway for residents across the borough into jobs, re-skilling and upskilling.
Natalie Creary, Black Thrives Programme Delivery Director, commended work that had taken place to develop the Strategy, for its co-production and for embracing a collective impact model. The following comments were also noted:
- The need for the Strategy to address mental health and equality in Lambeth.
- The importance of focusing on those furthest away from the jobs market, and their progression, due to structural barriers, with an emphasis on tackling inequality.
- Black Thrive had a project, funded by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT), to review barriers faced by black people with long-term health conditions in accessing and sustaining good work; and it encouraged the Council to use this and other projects, to incorporate further opportunities and develop the Skills and Employment Strategy.
- The need for there to be a balance between supporting people into good jobs and investing into enterprise and creating employment, which should be embedded into the overarching Economic Resilience Strategy to respond to the economic fallout of Covid-19.
Councillor Scott Ainslie, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, also made representations on this item which focussed on:
- The importance of learning lessons from previous schemes and initiatives, and ensuring clarity on how future success would be measured.
- Concerns that, across Lambeth, the percentage of jobs paid below the London Living Wage (LLW) had increased.
- The importance of apprenticeships and utilisation of the Apprenticeship Levy.
The Chair agreed to take the Lambeth Made Safer Strategy item before the Direct Labour Organisation (Housing Services) item. The minutes reflect the order in which items were discussed rather than the order set out on the published agenda.
Councillor Jacqui Dyer, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, presented the Lambeth Made Safer Strategy 2020 – 2030. The Strategy, set out at Appendix A to the report, set out a vision with goals and priorities for making Lambeth one of the safest places for young people and young adults. The following points were noted:
- Although violence against young people had fallen from its peak in 2018, it remained a significant issue for Lambeth. As set out in the report, in 2020 Lambeth’s position relative to other London boroughs had worsened significantly.
- The Strategy aimed to break the cycle of violence that devasted lives of individuals, families and communities. This would be done by acting upon feedback from young people and communities about their experiences, together with their views about what would work to prevent violence against young people in the future.
- A long-term Public Health approach to community safety would help ensure early interventions so that the aspirations of young people were not limited due to obstacles, including those in relation to early childhood and socio-health issues.
- The Strategy acknowledged and highlighted that systemic racism had affected Black communities over many years in the borough and it was noted that this had led to higher levels of violence against young Black people. Councillor Dyer emphasised that the Strategy would adopt an anti-racist approach throughout all its work.
- The aim was to improve the safety, and health and well-being, of children and young people across the borough and to reduce the number of young people and young adults impacted by violence.
- The Strategy had been informed by the lived experiences of those affected by youth violence and the successes and failures of those who continued to strive to prevent it.
Natalie Creary, Black Thrives Programme Delivery Director, made representations on this item which focussed on the following key points:
- Lambeth could be proud of its Made Safer Strategy and the embracing of an anti-racist lens was commended. Black Thrive encouraged the Council to continue to work with it but noted that success required the continued support of councillors.
- It was noted that the Strategy could possibly help reduce the inequality gap.
- The embracing of a collective impact model was praised.
- This was an opportunity to think differently around youth violence language, such as “violence that affects young people” instead of “youth violence”.
- A balance was needed on intervention to address the symptoms and consequences of violence, by ensuring attention to systemic factors, such as school exclusion or state neglect, were considered. This would enable the building of trust by recognising that opportunities and choice agency was shaped by statutory organisations instead of a focus solely on the child, community, or family. However, such a balance underlined the importance of further investment into solutions.
- It was important to create space for communities to take leadership roles, especially those disproportionally impacted, so that they could deliver solutions for ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
During the discussion of agenda item 5, Direct Labour Organisation (Housing Services), the guillotine fell at 7.00 pm.
RESOLVED: That the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.
Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Deputy Leader of the Council (Housing and Homelessness), introduced the report and explained how the Council was redesigning its repair and maintenance service in order to deliver better quality, socially responsible and digitally-driven services.
The Deputy Leader of the Council (Housing and Homelessness) highlighted that the administration was committed to bringing services back in-house where they could be delivered more effectively and demonstrated better value for money. The proposals, set out in the report, would enable the Council to undertake communal repairs and deliver community and care services via a Direct Labour Organisation (DLO).
Cabinet was asked to note the following:
- Social responsibility was at the heart of the proposed DLO. The underlying ethos was to create a diverse workforce of council employees and apprenticeships which would provide much needed local employment and training opportunities to people committed to delivering quality services to Lambeth residents.
- Improving estates and neighbourhoods, and providing property adaptations to support disabled, vulnerable and older adults to maintain their own independence was an important driver for the DLO.
- The DLO would embrace some of the most dynamic ICT resource management systems available to ensure it was efficiently managed and financially viable. This software would also allow residents to access and track services online.
- The DLO would play its part in helping the Council achieve its 2030 net-zero carbon commitment. This would be done, primarily, through sustainable travel and a commitment to using electric vehicles with dynamic journey management to avoid unnecessary or abortive travel. The DLO would also work to implement a ban on all single use plastics and plastic would be recycled in accordance with council policy.
Councillor Brathwaite placed on record her thanks for the significant work undertaken by both a resident Task and Finish Group, who had conducted a detailed review of the Council’s communal repairs service in 2019, and the Council’s Resident Procurement Panel, which had been established to help the Council design, procure and manage its housing repair and maintenance delivery arrangements.
Councillor Scott Ainslie, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, stated that he supported the proposal and highlighted a number of issues which focused on:
- The importance of having checks and balances in place to ensure housing repairs were completed on time and to expected standards.
- Concerns in relation to performance data and statistics for the housing repairs help desk and the need for improvements to be made to ensure residents were able to report faults as easily as possible.
- The importance of testing the latest ICT resource management systems to ensure the new software worked and was accessible to all before going live.
- The need for openness and transparency in relation to DLO governance arrangements.
In response to questions the Assistant Director, Repairs and Maintenance, provided information on a range of topics, including:
- The DLO would be accountable to an independent governing board with a proposed membership consisting of the Director of Housing Services, Cabinet Members, Residents and ... view the full minutes text for item 5.